NaNoWriMo – FTW!


I’m celebrating this morning, I hit the 50,000 word mark at 9:06 a.m. PST. I marked the time, kind of like giving birth (ok, not really. Having done both, I can say the experiences are distinctly different). The 50,oooth word was “being.” Seems poetic somehow. After last year’s aborted attempt to tackle NaNo, I feel incredibly pleased by this, and finishing with days to spare. I amazed even myself by being able to crank out something like 2000 words yesterday, Thanksgiving Day, between cooking the turkey and everything else. We don’t have large family gatherings so that made it possible. Frankly I’m glad I had this to do to fill in the empty spaces during the day.

At the start of the second week I felt the elation and excitement of the first few days leaking away, like air out of a balloon. That’s when the real slog started for me. I was missing the characters in my vampire story that I was working on before November, and hadn’t really gotten to know my new characters. I’m one of those people who writes with no outline, and I had only the vaguest idea of what the NaNo novel was going to be. It took awhile before they really started to talk to me, and show me some glimmers of personality and gumption. Now at the 50k mark, they’re just beginning to become really interesting, which I guess means a lot of the preliminary stuff will be going away when I finish the first draft and start revising.  And I intend to finish this, but I think first I need to finish the vampire story. Even with all this going on, it’s never been far from my mind as if those characters are haunting me, but it’s a welcome haunting. There’s much work to be done on that as well, and I’m still not sure where it will end up but I have to get it out of my system I think before I can do anything else justice.

Evil Son #1 asked me yesterday what do I get if I win. Well, I had to explain there are no tangible prizes to be had, it’s simply the satisfaction of getting it done. As trite as this will sound, I learned a lot about myself, and my priorities in life. As many of you know, I don’t subscribe to tv cable  and haven’t for years (full disclaimer: Evil Son #2 just signed up for it, so it’s in the house again, but good GAWD, I am more astonished than ever that people pay to watch this crap), so I haven’t had that distraction. Nor do I miss it. My co-workers think I’m a freak because I read and don’t have tv. Maybe being a freak isn’t so bad.

To those of you still wandering around in your personal NaNo-Land, keep on truckin’!

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25 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo – FTW!

  1. Rosie says:

    DD — Congratulations! X100!!!!

    I totally agree with your assessment in that I learned more about myself from undertaking NaNo than the actual work product itself. Creative juices don’t just flow ~ you have to be open to the work AND make the effort.

    I’m still plugging away — realistically speaking I won’t make 50K, but it’s OK. I’m just going to keep up the habit and roll on with it.

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  2. Digital Dame says:

    Thanks, Rosie! That’s the key, just keep on going. My first attempt at NaNo last year was a real eye-opener for me, so going into this year I had a much better idea of a.) what I was getting myself into, and b.) how to get through it.

    It’s a peculiar feeling really. There is the sense of accomplishment to be sure. I never would have done this much in a month without the impetus of NaNo pushing me onwards, but at the same time, it still feels like a beginning. The writing is always going to be there for me, it’s not like it’s “finished.” This story is far from done, as the prequel to another, but writing this has also given me insights into that other story as well, and given me new ideas for plot lines. Creativity is its own nourishment, it seems.

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  3. maryjblog says:

    YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!!! I might or might not break 20K this year, but you give me inspiration to try again in 2010. Congratulations on a job exceptionally well done, my friend. And say hello to the Czechoslovakian bloodsuckers – I’m sure they’ve been missing you!

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  4. Digital Dame says:

    ROFL Thanks! Yeah, the first time around was a learning experience for me. And once you take a stab at it, it’s hard to resist coming back for more torture the next year 😉 I have to say the write-ins were a huge help, and just plain fun. Maybe next year since you’ll be more aware of it coming, you can find ways to fit it in to your life (a little) more easily than this year?

    You know I’m already head down back into the vampire novel. God I missed those guys! 🙂 My heroine is a Rachmaninoff fan so I’ve got Piano Concerto #3 on the CD player (Horowitz on the piano) as I type. Ah, good times.

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  5. gypsyscarlett says:

    Mucho congrats to you, DD!

    I reached the 50 K a couple of days ago. I plan to continue working on it this weekend and then submit it for the official word counter thingie. I want to spend the weekend immersed in the story because I’m very close to understanding a very vital piece. I can feel it in my subconscious- I just need to unlock the darn thing!

    Rosie and MaryJ,

    So glad you enjoyed doing NaNo this year. Reaching 50K isn’t as important as what you got out of the experience itself.

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    • maryjblog says:

      thanx, Didge; thanx Gypsy! Absolutely I’m going to plan a little more in advance next year, think about when I can clear the deck, maybe tell some of my loved ones to expect me @B MIA now & again, and generally set up my schedule a little better. The best part of this year was that I actually coughed up those characters who’ve been rolling around in my head for literally years – at least now they all have names and backstories, and exist on the page. Maybe Rosie and I can find a mutually convenient write-in, or do a couple of our own, at our homes.

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      • Digital Dame says:

        I can’t tell you how thrilled I am for you, hearing that you’re getting those characters fleshed out and really getting started with bringing them to life. ::sniff:: 😉 I know you had a lot of doubts about this whole thing, so I am doubly glad you took a chance and dove in anyway.

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      • Rosie says:

        MJB — I am totally up for a local write-in. I know you have been cerebrally cultivating those characters for years, and I am crazy with curiosity to meet them.

        NaNo has been a creative blast, and I didn’t realize how much I had been neglecting that side of my brain until I started. I will definitely sign up again next year w/o hesitation, but with more preparation.

        For me, all this came from a humble icon on Filling Spaces .. thanks again, DD, for your inspiration!

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      • maryjblog says:

        Oh, we don’t have to wait for a write-in for that. Let me know how much you feel like reading, and I’ll email you my excerpt if you send me yours. We can discuss them over our next breakfast date, which is due SOON.

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  6. Digital Dame says:

    Thanks, Tasha! Congrats to you too! I saw you hit it a few days ago and was wondering why you hadn’t verified for the win yet. Just don’t cut it too close! 🙂

    I’m going to put my NaNo novel on the back burner for a bit while I get back to the vampire novel. I have a lot to work out yet in the NaNo novel and feel like I can’t split my focus right now. The vampire novel just won’t leave me alone so I’m going back to hear what those characters have to say.

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  7. janflora says:

    YAY FOR YOU!!! 🙂 And let’s hear it for us freaks!!! lol 😀 …i have been working on my own NaNo this month (still going!)…and completely neglecting my blog, but i am going to be catching up w/ all soon~ just wanted to say Congrats!

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  8. janflora says:

    THanks! 🙂 I made it tonight…but I only have half the actual novel written of course. Now I have to keep up the motivation, though I may slow down a bit. I really want to get back to the blog. I do not seem to be able to do everything at once (*sigh)…but I miss it and you all! I know exactly what you mean about learning more about my priorities, etc 🙂

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  9. Digital Dame says:

    YAY!!! Congratulations, Jan! I know what you mean about being only halfway with the novel, despite ‘finishing’ NaNo. 50K words is a good start, but would be a pretty short book 🙂

    It’s nice to have you back, I have missed your insights and conversation.

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  10. anacnunes says:

    Congratulations!
    I hadn’t noticed you won so early, because I was so focused on my own writing that I forgot about everyone else. Sorry about that.

    I can relate to you on a lot you say on this post. First fo all, I’m also going back to my pre-NaNo novel (actually, last year’s nano novel) to try and finish it before the year is over. Only then will I come back to the novellas I wrote this November (yes I did two, smaller ones).

    Then there’e the TV. Curiously, I also got cable tv recently and I don’t find it as distracting as I’d feared. I barely watched tv before, and now I barely watch tv … again. It really is mostly crap, even when I have access to almost 200 channels. Go figure!

    In the meantime, let’s cheer each other up with our vampire novels and see who gets to bite more necks. 😄

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    • maryjblog says:

      We have cable, and I won’t lie – there are a few shows I’m partial to, but overall, the more channels, the more crap. I’d cut way back on ours, but Fang loves his spectator sports. I wish our legislators would notice that the cable channels are way more guilty of price-fixing than the phone company ever was (are you guys old enough to remember when there was ONE phone company, like a public utility, and then The Man broke it up b/c it was found to be a monopoly?) and would implement a system where you only get charged for the channels you actually want (why do I have to pay for FOX NEWS just so I can watch Animal Planet?!) or shows you actually watch.

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      • Digital Dame says:

        The industry’s response to that is always that it would be more expensive to have a la carte programming like that, which of course no one actually believes. Maybe if they saw how few people are really watching some of these channels, the sponsors would pull their ads and the channels would die a much deserved death. Sports channels will of course reign supreme, being the national religion. I’m not sure that would lead to better programs, though, considering “Dancing with the Stars” is one of the most popular shows ever, along with American Idol(neither of which have I ever seen).

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      • maryjblog says:

        I’ve seen both, and while you are missing nothing, believe me – there is far, far worse crap out there. Those “Real Housewives” shows make Dancing w/Stars look like Shakespeare, and anything with the word “Cribs” in the title is an abomination.

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      • Digital Dame says:

        “Cribs”?? Do I even want to know? Oy, I’d forgotten about those “Real Housewives” shows. Makes me long for the days of “Laugh-In” and “Sonny and Cher” and those old variety shows. I’m starting to feel like a walking anachronism.

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  11. Digital Dame says:

    LOL! I love it, let’s keep those vamps busy 😉

    I know what you mean about losing track of everything else when you’re writing. You know you’re in the zone when everything else falls away. It’s a good feeling 🙂

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  12. justwilliams says:

    Congratulations on hitting your NaNo target, and early at that! Perhaps I will have a go at it next year and see what happens. Trouble is, I have so many other ways of avoiding being stuck in front of the TV. Yes, I am 95% anti-TV and wouldn’t have it in the house if it was just for me. A freak? Sure, and proud of it.

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